Inside Sales Associates (ISA) – Hope or Hype? – What you need to know before hiring an Inside Sales Associate

Daniel KeltnerInsider Tips for Agents, SalesLeave a Comment

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Here is Wikipedia’s definition of an ISA.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sales

Here is mine.  An ISA is the person that answers the phone, answers a leads questions, qualifies the lead further, enters the lead into the business owner’s CRM, puts the lead onto the proper campaign and assigns them to an OSA or Selling Broker.

Topics we will discuss and cover are NOT theory.  We work with Brokers across the continent and these are the topics you need to know.

1.     Sourcing an ISA – DISC test or no DISC test.  Agency or Freelancer.
2.     Training – How to get it done for you.
3.     Abilities, Duties and Tasks – What to expect.
4.     Pay Scale and Bonus Structure – Market rate incentives.
5.     Monitoring – How to get what you pay for.

One of the most common requests we receive at Cutyourpayroll.com is for low cost virtual ISAs.

People think an ISA must be a certain DISC profile, call the Broker’s old sphere, be female and flirty sounding (eyeroll), and Oh yes, they must be willing to work Saturdays and Sundays (sigh).

Good luck finding that.

I won’t sugar coat this, finding someone to fill the order above is HARD – not impossible, but hard.  You must be willing to compromise on some of the points above and you may have to go through more than one or two people before you find the right fit.

This process will be labor intensive, but the dividends can be massive if done right.  I have created a quick start guide on how to work with an ISA at the end of this article.

The guide is based on my experiences working with Brokers across the US and Canada.  I am offering this guide free of charge as a way to thank our readers for following our blog.

I sincerely hope that you find value in the guide and thank you again for reading my blog.

5 Point Quick-Start guide to working with an ISA

1.  Sourcing – Agnecy vs.  Freelancer.  If you can afford it, use an agency.  This will cut down the amount of time you spend on training and HR by about 50%.

Don’t worry too much about DISC tests.  Here is why.  We are going to use this ISA to qualify and appointment set.  Your OSA needs to be the sales person.  Hiring an ISA that scores high on a DISC test will bring a whole other set of issues for you.  For example, people that are great in sales tend to need more management and are not as reliable.  The person answering your phone needs to be reliable!

Before hiring, get a screenshot of their internet speed.  They  must have 3MBs download and 1MB upload in order to make a clear phone call.

Let them know that you have a policy against barking dogs and cock-a-doodling roosters.  These are no conducive to sales calls.  Set expectations early.

2.  Abilities/Duties and tasks – Your ISA needs to know what they are signing up for.  You need to know if they are able to meet the job demands.  You don’t want to hear, “Boss, I need the money but don’t feel comfortable on the phone, can I just do admin for you?” after four weeks on the job.  Trust me, this happens.

DO NOT expect them to sell anything for at least 3-6 months.  Start them in a qualifying and appointment setting type role.   Selling is conversational, you will know when they are ready.

Create a one page word doc outlining their daily tasks, in order of priority.  This way, they know what’s most important that they get done.

3.  Training – This is where things typically fall off the tracks.  If you know you don’t have time to train your VA, hire a service or agency.

Here is a pro-tip for you. Try getting a Real Estate coach for your VA.  They typically have a lot of experience and resources that are great for Vas.

4.  Payscale and Bonus structure – Expect to pay a decent ISA between $6.00 and $10.00 per hour.  If you have one cheaper, that’s great – however, my experience is that this is the market rate.

If you have an ISA and are having consistency issues, try bumping their pay in line with this above.  VAs take well paying jobs very seriously.

On Bonuses, $10 per appointment set or $20 per sale seems to be effective as an incentive in the Philippines and India.
 
5.  Monitoring – You should really have some type of Time Tracking software in place for your VA ISA.  Even if you never check it, the fact that your VA knows they COULD be watched, will keep them on task.

We have developed such a system called TimeTrax.  This service is free to our blog readers as a thank you for reading our blog.

Click here to receive your free TimeTrax Account. >

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